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Revisiting Istalif, Famed For Pottery And Picnics

The mention of picnics brings back memories of a 2003 visit to that Afghan village — and the hopeful signs there that life could indeed be "normal" again in that war-torn country.

Ten Years Of Hanging On As An Afghan Potter

Abdul Wahkeel was the first potter in Istalif to rebuild his business after the Taliban fell. He has largely succeeded, but wonders whether his children will know the same prosperity and peace.

U.S. Admits To Some Mistakes In Deadly Pakistan Raid

The U.S. has admitted that NATO forces made mistakes in an operation last month that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

USAID Helps To Improve Medical Care In Afghanistan

A new survey shows stunning progress in medical care in the war-torn country. Renee Montagne speaks with Alex Thier who oversees projects in Afghanistan for the U.S. Agency for International Development. They discuss the tremendous efforts that have been made to improve medical care in that country over the last decade.

Marine Thankful To Be Home At Christmas

Earlier this year, NPR's Tom Bowman reported on the high casualty rates experienced by the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment of the Marine Corps — the Darkhorse Battalion. This was during their deployment in one of Afghanistan's southern provinces. Morning Edition reached out to a member of that battalion who is home for Christmas this year. Renee Montagne talks to Staff Sgt. James Foley, who joined us on the phone from Camp Pendleton in Southern California.